Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy May Improve Fibromyalgia Pain

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy May Improve Fibromyalgia Pain

This Blog Talks About…

  • According to researchers at Rice University, hyperbaric oxygen treatment may relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve brain function.
  • The new study suggests exposing patients to pure oxygen at higher-than-atmospheric pressure can result in the repair of impaired brain functions and pain.
  • The team at American Spine discuss the theory that hyperbaric oxygen therapy may improve fibromyalgia pain.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) is a unique therapy that exposes people to pure oxygen at higher-than-atmospheric pressures. According to researchers, this exposure induces neuroplasticity, which can repair damaged brain functions from stroke or mild traumatic brain injury. Researchers applied this same reasoning to the theory fibromyalgia pain is caused by abnormalities in the brain, and that HBOT may be a potential treatment.

The clinical trial for HBOT involved 48 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia for at least two years. According to the study’s author Eshel Ben-Jacob, PhD, an adjunct professor of biosciences at Rice University in Houston, Texas, symptoms in roughly 70 percent of the women had been form interpretations of pain in their brains. Women with these particular symptoms showed the more improvement with HBOT.

For the study, participants received 40 HBOT sessions over a two month period, five days a week, with sessions lasting 90 minutes. Half of the patients were initially placed in a control group and saw no improvement with their pain symptoms. The other half of participants were given the treatment and experienced significant pain relief.

Eventually, the control group was brought back to test the therapy, which is where they noted a great reduction in their pain and medication use.

According to one of the lead researchers, Dr. Shai Efrati of Assaf Harofeh Medical Center and Sagol School of Neuroscience, abnormalities in brain regions responsible for chronic pain sensations in fibromyalgia patients can be triggered by different events.

"We have learned, for example, that when fibromyalgia is triggered by traumatic brain injury, we can expect complete resolution without any need for further treatment,” said Dr. Efrati “However, when the trigger is attributed to other causes, such as fever-related diseases, the patient will probably need periodic maintenance therapy."

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.